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Switched unlimited minor openings 1C=3+D, 1D=bal or C

#1 User is offline   dcrc2 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 07:47

I've been thinking about better ways to arrange a strong NT, 5-card major system, and am looking at this approach which seems to fit together nicely:

1 = 11+ HCP (no upper limit) with 3+ , not balanced, forcing. (Will be either 5+ or three-suited. If only 3 , then precisely 1=4=3=5 or 4=1=3=5.)

1 = 11+ HCP (no upper limit), balanced or , forcing. Specifically one of four hand types:
(i) (11)12-14 HCP balanced / 5422
(ii) any strength, three-suited short in
(iii) any strength, 6+ (or can be 5 with 19+ HCP)
(iv) 22+ HCP balanced

1/1 = 11-20 HCP, 5+ cards

1NT = 15-17 HCP, balanced or 5422 or (optionally) 5422

2 = Either 18-19 HCP balanced/5422, or game forcing with a 5+ major.

2NT = 20-21 HCP balanced


To put it another way, this is similar to the very common system "1 = balanced or , 1 = unbalanced with 4+ (including 45)", except that:
(i) Hands of precisely 1=4=3=5 and 4=1=3=5 shape are moved into the diamond-showing opening.
(ii) The 1 and 1 openings are switched around.


What's the point of this?

The main aim is to bid balanced hands better than other strong NT systems, in competitive situations.

In a standard 5cM system, minimum balanced hands are lumped together with minimum unbalanced hands. This system tries to keep the types separate so that unbalanced minor-oriented hands open 1 while balanced hands open 1. It's not quite perfect in this respect, as hands with long clubs also open 1, but then the club length gives you a safety net if responder incorrectly assumes the balanced type. The distinction makes life easier for responder in competition. For example, opposite a balanced hand, responder should strain to introduce his own 5-card suits, even if they are relatively weak. Whereas opposite an unbalanced hand, you want to wait for a better suit, and rely on take-out doubles otherwise.

So this system is similar to Polish/Swedish club in that it has an opening which "shows" a weak NT. I like those systems too. But this system lets you start hands with real clubs at the 1-level: that's not always better, but it's definitely more flexible, and in particular gives you a better chance of finding your major-suit fits.

The other difference is opening 2 on 18-19 balanced. Sometimes that's worse than starting at the 1-level (you certainly can't play in 1NT); sometimes it's better (especially in competition). If you have an uncontested auction, good methods over 2 allow you to bid at least as accurately as over a standard 1m opening. And you can play in 2M, which most standard systems don't allow. (Some systems open 2 on 18-19 balanced: that gives you significantly less space than 2.)


Why have an opening showing 2+ s and an opening showing 3+ s, when it's easily possible to achieve either {2, 4} or {3, 3}?

Because majors are more important than minors. The 1 opening doesn't just show 2+ s, it also implies tolerance for both majors. (Opener will not be short in a major unless he has 6+ clubs.)


Why should the minor openings be unlimited?

This seems to fit well with putting 18-19 balanced into 2. If 2 had to handle all game-forcing hands as well as 18-19 balanced, it would become very awkward. When 2 only has to handle the major-oriented game forces, it's much better. And super-strong minor-oriented hands are not well handled by a standard 2. Add to that the fact that you rarely want to pass a 1m opening anyway, and when you do you're still usually worried about missing a better spot. Making the openings forcing allows responder to explore with a very weak hand without getting hanged for it.


Why are the 1 and 1 openings switched compared to standard?

If the minor openings are forcing there is little inherent benefit to bidding the suit you've got. The unbalanced hands are more complicated to describe than the balanced hands, so it's the unbalanced hands which need the space more.


I'll post some suggested continuations if anyone thinks this is interesting.
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#2 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 08:10

What are the continuations after the 1 and 1 openings?
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#3 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 08:41

This seems contradictory in that the main aim is to bid balanced hands better, yet you are reducing the space available to do so. Thing I'll stick with what I have.
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#4 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 09:05

Iíve been interested for a while in the idea of unlimited minor openings. It seems like 1m doesnít pass out much anyway (and when it does, itís often not a good score). A lot of strong hands with a primary minor are also hard to bid if you start with 2C strong and 1m forcing could help there too.

Iím not totally convinced by the rest of this though; would have gone with the more standard 1C=clubs or balanced or 4441 and 1D=unbalanced 5+. The idea was to use 1D as a negative (kinda like polish club but less ambiguous about shape on rebids) and play natural after 1D but use 1nt by opener to help distinguish strength (some gazzilli like thing maybe, point being we donít need a natural 1nt rebid).

Iíd also thought to open a slightly lighter 1M (say 10-18) and take advantage of the 2C opening guaranteeing a 5M to include slightly lighter hands (2C=19+ with a 5+M).

So my structure is a bit different from yours! Anyway Iíd be interested to see where you go with it.
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
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#5 User is offline   dcrc2 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 09:41

View PostfromageGB, on 2017-November-29, 08:41, said:

This seems contradictory in that the main aim is to bid balanced hands better, yet you are reducing the space available to do so.

Yes, sorry you're quite right that in an uncontested auction the weak NT hands are handled no better than standard (and potentially it could be worse when a standard system starts 1:1). I meant to say that the handling of balanced hands will be better on average, and that the gains come when the opponents compete. I've made a one-word edit to the original post to make it closer to that intention.
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#6 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 09:47

Very nice presentation.

Curious why you don't switch the 18-19 bal with the 6 club hands (maybe 11-15 range). I think (like little club) you're trying to encourage responder to compete as in
1D (2D) 2M
where 2M is nf, but opener can have long clubs and a very wide range here. A potential misfit and a lot to sort out.


Also not sure how you handle GI hands with a 5-cd major. Like unbalanced 21-22 ct or so.

What are your 2D and higher openings? Yes, I'd be interested to see the continuations.
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#7 User is offline   dcrc2 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 10:26

View Poststraube, on 2017-November-29, 09:47, said:

I think (like little club) you're trying to encourage responder to compete as in
1D (2D) 2M
where 2M is nf, but opener can have long clubs and a very wide range here. A potential misfit and a lot to sort out.

Yes, you've got it, this is exactly the sort of sequence where the system is supposed to do well. The non-forcing 1 (2x) 2M sequences (and 1 (1) 2 transfer to hearts) are the number one reason for playing this.

The "solution" is just Lebensohl: opener's 2NT rebid in competition shows (normally) a minimum with 6 clubs, and a direct 3 shows a better hand with 6 clubs. Note that opener will have 6 clubs here, otherwise he would be passing or raising partner's suit. That's precisely why all of those three-suited hands were taken out of the 1 opening.

It could still be a misfit. Maybe responder should be a little cautious with club shortage. But when opener has 6 clubs and the opponents bid to the 2-level, it's not that easy to avoid the misfit anyway - you can let opponents play, but not with much confidence that you're doing the right thing.

I wouldn't agree that there is a lot to sort out. Opener is showing a 6-card suit, and limits his hand with his rebid; responder has shown a 5-card suit; the opponents have shown something too. There's not that much left :)
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#8 User is offline   dcrc2 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 10:34

View Poststraube, on 2017-November-29, 09:47, said:

Curious why you don't switch the 18-19 bal with the 6 club hands (maybe 11-15 range).

If you add 18-19 bal to the 1 opener you're still forced to the 2-level with that hand as there's no space to stop; if I'm forced to the 2-level anyway, I'd rather open it there, so that I get the advantage of having shown the strength if there's an overall. Of course you could switch the minors back to the normal way round, letting you stop in 1NT, but then that system already exists, and I wouldn't have anything to write about :)

Or you could open 2 on 18-19 balanced, but I find that too pre-emptive. 2 gives you about twice as many useful sequences I believe.

[Edited after I realised what the quote actually meant.]
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#9 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 12:27

View Poststraube, on 2017-November-29, 09:47, said:

Curious why you don't switch the 18-19 bal with the 6 club hands (maybe 11-15 range).

This was precisely my thought too, except that I was thinking a stage further and adding 2 = 11-15, 4415-1 card, meaning that the 1 opening becomes "balanced or 16+ clubs/3-suited". Interesting would be to go even further and switch the 16+ hands with the strong NT, so that all balanced hands open 1 and 1NT becomes a specialised strong opening. That would be nice from a thematic point of view but might not be good practically. It is all far enough away from Standard that I think quite a lot of playtesting is going to be required to optimise everything whichever structure ends up being used.

Where I have doubts is that the end result will end up being able to compete with the efficiency of systems based on 1 = or balanced with transfer responses, or of strong and mixed club systems. Swedish Club in particular makes for a good comparison because that system also enables the desired light competition opposite a weak NT with a 5+ card suit.

My advice is to take the concept and go away and produce more detail to it, then playtest it fairly intensively against lots of hands to iron out the wrinkles and improve the efficiency. Then come back here and post the results. At that stage it will certainly be of interest to most of the regular contributors to NNSD and you might even find the one or other willing to try it out. In any case, have fun with it and I wish you every success!
(-: Zel :-)
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#10 User is offline   Kungsgeten 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 18:35

It reminds me somewhat of this thread, for some reason: http://www.bridgebas...club-minor-fix/

Several times I've considered having a 1D opening showing 3+ diamonds (like your 1C opening), instead of 4+D, in order to make our 2C opening promise 6+C (we play Swedish Club). I feel like it could lead to some silly contracts though. When 1D usually show 5+D, responder will often want to support with 3 cards. In the worst case we're in a 4-3 fit. If 1D could be a three card suit, we would still want to support with 3 card support (since opener will often have 5+D), but if 1D may be three we might end up in a silly 3-3 fit.
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#11 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2017-December-02, 07:34

View PostKungsgeten, on 2017-November-29, 18:35, said:

It reminds me somewhat of this thread, for some reason: http://www.bridgebas...club-minor-fix/

Several times I've considered having a 1D opening showing 3+ diamonds (like your 1C opening), instead of 4+D, in order to make our 2C opening promise 6+C (we play Swedish Club). I feel like it could lead to some silly contracts though. When 1D usually show 5+D, responder will often want to support with 3 cards. In the worst case we're in a 4-3 fit. If 1D could be a three card suit, we would still want to support with 3 card support (since opener will often have 5+D), but if 1D may be three we might end up in a silly 3-3 fit.

I exactly do what you considered.
I think you severely over-judge the need of raising diamonds on 3 cards.
On the other side I had quite often issues with Polish club partners when 2 opening did not guarantee six. This is curiously well known by Precision players, but often disregarded by Polish club players.
I can not remember having the urgent need of raising diamonds on only three cards immediately. We just don't do this.

However, after 1 - 1 you can agree that a rebid of 2 shows 4 cards while 2 is a spade raise on three cards.
The natural reverse with diamonds / hearts is not really needed in Polish club and anyway extremely rare. (Open 1 Heart with 5 cards in hearts and longer diamonds)

Rainer Herrmann
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#12 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2017-December-02, 08:40

I play unlimited minors, too, but a version where

1 = NAT or 11-13/17-19/26+ BAL
1 = NAT unBAL or 20-22 BAL

except that I open

* 1 with 10-15, 3154/4054/4153 and with 11+, 4S4C(41)
* 1 with 10-15, 0445/1345/1435 and with 11+, 4H4D(41)

to enable

* 1 over 1-1(4+ H) with 4+ S or 31(54)
* 1 over 1-1(4+ S) with 4+ H or 13(54),

which in turn solves a bunch of classic rebid problems and makes it easier to play 2 as ART over 1-1M.

I handle the responses on 0+ hcp (and, indirectly, the unlimited 1m range) partly by using 1N and 2Om essentially as "weak" and "strong" "Gazzillis", respectively, after each 1m opening and a major-showing 1-level response, reserving the 2N+ rebids for GF hands, i.e. hands that would be opened 2 in standard. (With 11-13 BAL in 1, 1N can no longer be used as Gazzilli over 1-1M, as awm pointed out.)

In a sense the above, which includes

* opening 1 instead of 1 with 11-13 BAL
* using 1N over 1-[1M-1] and 1-1M as "NF Gazzilli" (and the "weaker" of the two "Gazzillis")
* almost freeing up 2 over 1-1M by using a (not just "prepared" but) "preprepared" 1 rebid over both 1-[1M-1](=4+ M) and 1-1M(=(3)4+ OM)

is my way of dealing with the unlimited 1m range, but if there is a simpler solution even with 11-13 BAL in 1, then I might want to adopt it.

I'm not sure what the consequences of switching the meanings of 1 and 1 on unbalanced hands are even in my system, but I'm working on that now because of this thread. What are your (deeper) reasons for making this (simpler) switch?

Almost turning the 1 opening into a "little diamond" (that usually has tolerance for both majors) is an interesting idea, but as I've indicated, I don't know how this can be done in an unlimited minors context. Details?
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#13 User is offline   foobar 

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Posted 2017-December-02, 22:23

View Postnullve, on 2017-December-02, 08:40, said:

I play unlimited minors, too, but a version where

1 = NAT or 11-13/17-19/26+ BAL
1 = NAT unBAL or 20-22 BAL

except that I open

* 1 with 10-15, 3154/4054/4153 and with 11+, 4S4C(41)
* 1 with 10-15, 0445/1345/1435 and with 11+, 4H4D(41)

to enable

* 1 over 1-1(4+ H) with 4+ S or 31(54)
* 1 over 1-1(4+ S) with 4+ H or 13(54),

which in turn solves a bunch of classic rebid problems and makes it easier to play 2 as ART over 1-1M.


Out of curiosity, can you please post an outline of your system?
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#14 User is offline   Kungsgeten 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 13:09

View Postrhm, on 2017-December-02, 07:34, said:

I think you severely over-judge the need of raising diamonds on 3 cards.


Perhaps that's the case. If you do not raise diamonds with three cards, you need a natural non-forcing 1NT response (or you'll have to respond on three card majors sometimes). If you give up a natural 1NT response you can play that as artificial, which we find beneficial. Actually we tend to raise diamonds with 3 also when having a four card major, if the major is weak and we don't think there's a game. 1D-2D auctions are more preemptive than 1D-1H or 1D-1S, since fourth hand may not have a take-out double after 1D-2D (and we remove a 2C overcall).

We currently play 1D-1NT as a relay (usually GF, but may be balanced INV with no four card major). Our 2C response is natural and non-forcing. The most problematic hand as responder is being weak with 3-3-2-5 distribution, where we might belong in 2D on a 5-2 fit (or 2M on 4-3), rather than 2C on a 5-1 or 5-0 fit (if opener doesn't make another bid). Before we played 1NT as a transfer to clubs, including 3-3-2-5, and 2C as the GF relay. Since our 1D shows 11-19 we wanted more space in order to separate min/max hands, and thus we changed the relay to 1NT.
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#15 User is offline   Kungsgeten 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 13:20

Another minor switch idea might be to use Polish Club as a base, but switch the minors.

1C = 12-14 NT (could be 4-4-4-1) or 15+ unbal with 4+D or 22-24 NT.
1D = 11-21 unbal with 4+C (three-suited if 4C).
1M = 11-21 5+M.
1NT = 15-17 NT, could be 4-4-4-1.
2C = 18-19 NT or any GF without primary diamonds.
2D = 11-14 unbal with 5+D.
2M = Weak
2NT = 20-21

The 1C opening is a lot cleaner than Polish Club, and a lot cleaner than regular "short club". The 2D opening is bad though, worse than Polish 2C (since we're higher).
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#16 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 18:01

View Postfoobar, on 2017-December-02, 22:23, said:

Out of curiosity, can you please post an outline of your system?

Not sure which parts you're most interested in, but here are my openings in 1st seat NV:

P = "0-10 BAL" (mandatory w/ 0-9, 22(54); optional with 0-9 and either (42)(52) or 6m(322); possibly a good idea with (4441) and a stiff top honour)
1m = as above
1M = "10-21, 5+ M, unBAL"
1N = "14-16 BAL" ("11-13 BAL" is also playable if "14-16 BAL" is in 1)
2 = preempt w/ either 6(+)M3-OM or 5M3-OM4+m OR "22+, 5+ H, unBAL (GF)"
2 = canapé preempt in S (also w/ 4S4D(41) or 4450) OR "22+, 5+ S, unBAL (GF)"
2 = canapé preempt in H (also w/ 4H4C(41) or 4405)
2 = non-max C preempt OR max C+D preempt (not 22(54))
2N = non-max D preempt OR non-max C+D preempt (not 22(54)) OR "23-25 BAL"
3m = max preempt w/ 6 m
3M = max preempt w/ (6)7 M
3N: not sure(!)
4m = max preempt w/ 7 m
(...),

where the max preempts meet the rule of 16 but not the rule of 19 and the non-max preempts meet neither.

The preempts, which are mandatory on unbalanced hands below opening strength in 1st seat NV, become a lot sounder in 2nd seat or when vulnerable, but the overall structure is similar except that P of course no longer promises a (semi)balanced hand.

My desire to spend the whole 2-level on preempts without hurting myself too much on strong hands is the reason I play unlimited minors in the first place.
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#17 User is offline   Kungsgeten 

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Posted 2017-December-04, 02:09

View Postnullve, on 2017-December-03, 18:01, said:

My desire to spend the whole 2-level on preempts without hurting myself too much on strong hands is the reason I play unlimited minors in the first place.


A friend of mine plays this:

1C = 15+ any
1D = Any 10-14 unbal without 4+ major.
1M = 4+ major, 10-14 unbal (may be minor suit canapť), or 5M332.
1NT = 11-14
2C+ = Preempts

A variant of this could be to combine Moscito with "Silent Club":

Pass = Natural, or single-suiter 6+ clubs with less than 15 hcp (not suitable for preempt)
1C = 15+
1D = 4+H unbal or 5332, 10-14
1H = 4+S unbal or 5332, 10-14
1S = 4+D unbal, no major, 10-14
1NT = 11-14
2C+ = Preempts
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#18 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2017-December-04, 05:02

View PostKungsgeten, on 2017-December-03, 13:20, said:

Another minor switch idea might be to use Polish Club as a base, but switch the minors.

1C = 12-14 NT (could be 4-4-4-1) or 15+ unbal with 4+D or 22-24 NT.
1D = 11-21 unbal with 4+C (three-suited if 4C).
1M = 11-21 5+M.
1NT = 15-17 NT, could be 4-4-4-1.
2C = 18-19 NT or any GF without primary diamonds.
2D = 11-14 unbal with 5+D.
2M = Weak
2NT = 20-21

The 1C opening is a lot cleaner than Polish Club, and a lot cleaner than regular "short club". The 2D opening is bad though, worse than Polish 2C (since we're higher).


You could swap the 2D and 2C bids but as 2D probably needs to be to play that doesn't help you... But you could put some of the strong options into with the diamond hands.

But if you want 4 opening preempts you can just play standard with 2C: strong or diamonds weak which is green sticker.
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#19 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-December-04, 06:59

View PostCthulhu D, on 2017-December-04, 05:02, said:

You could swap the 2D and 2C bids but as 2D probably needs to be to play that doesn't help you... But you could put some of the strong options into with the diamond hands.

Or play 2 = 4M, longer ; 2 = 6+, no 4M and move 18-19 bal down into 1. Lots of possibilities here.
(-: Zel :-)
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#20 User is offline   dcrc2 

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Posted 2017-December-05, 12:13

Sorry I promised to post some continuations and then didn't get round to it.

Over 1 (balanced/long clubs) I'm sticking with natural responses, and there aren't too many possible ways to arrange things afterwards. I don't think you can realistically avoid getting to the 3-level with long clubs and extra values.

1:1 = natural, 0+ HCP
... ... 1 = natural, wide-ranging but not forcing, often a weak NT
... ... 1NT = natural, no major
... ... 2 = natural, 11-15 HCP
... ... 2 = 3+ , 15+ HCP
... ... 2 = natural min
... ... 2 = clubs, 19+ HCP, not 3 or 4 unless GF
... ... 2NT = 22-24 HCP balanced, not 4
... ... 3 = natural, 16-18 HCP, not 3
... ... 3 = 4 , usually 22+ balanced
... ... 3 = 4 , short
... ... 3NT = 25-27 HCP balanced, not 4

1:1 = natural, 0+ HCP
... ... 1NT = natural
... ... 2 = natural, 11-15 HCP
... ... 2 = clubs, 19+ HCP
... ... 2 = 3+ , 15+ HCP
... ... 2 = natural min
... ... 2NT = 22-24 HCP balanced, not 4
... ... 3 = natural, 16-18, not 3
... ... 3 = 4 , usually 22+ balanced
... ... 3 = 4 , short
... ... 3NT = 25-27 HCP balanced, not 4

1:1NT = no major, 0-10 HCP
... ... 2 = natural 11-16 HCP, or three-suited short in with 15-18 HCP
... ... 2 = +, 16+ HCP
... ... 2 = +, 16+ HCP
... ... 2 = 6+ , no major, 19+ HCP
... ... 2NT = 22-24 balanced
... ... 3 = natural 16-18 HCP
... ... 3 = +, GF
... ... 3NT = 25-27 balanced

1:2 = 5+ (6+ if less than GF)

1:2 = 5+ and 4+ , not forcing

1:2 = 5+ , inv+

1:2 = GF no major

1:2NT = natural invite

1:3 = 5+ , less than inv.


As for the 1 opening (showing diamonds), there seem to be several possible ways of doing it and I'm not at all convinced I've found the best one. I'm currently trying transfers over 1, like this:
1 = , 0+ HCP
1 = , 0+ HCP
1 = no major, 0-6 or 11+ HCP.
1NT = no major, 7-10 HCP.
2 = 54 inv.
2 = 4+ invitational+
2M = natural inv.
2NT = weak, 5+ diamonds
3 = 4+/4+ minors, 6-10 HCP
3 = 5+ diamonds, 6-10 HCP

I won't post too much detail as I'm liable to change this, but the most difficult one is always 1:1 where I'm trying:

1:1
... ... 1 = 5+ , forcing, no 4-card major unless 19+ HCP, or 64 min
... ... ... 1NT = relay, negative or inv+
... ... ... ... 2m = nat, 11-18
... ... ... ... 2 = nat, 15-18
... ... ... ... others = 19+
... ... ... 2m = nat preference, 8-10 HCP
... ... ... 2 = art. GF not wanting to bid NT
... ... ... 2 = nat, 6-9
... ... ... 3m = inv.
... ... 1NT = 11-14, either three-suited (short ) or 54 (at most 2 )
... ... 2 = 15-18, three-suited short with at most 4
... ... 2 = 15-18, 5+4
... ... 2 = 15+, 3
... ... 2 = min, 3 or 4
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